"We are only back two days," Jack grumbles, throwing on his quidditch gear. "I was hoping for at least a week before Jason decided he was gonna go quidditch psycho on our asses."
I place on my right shoe, half listening to what Jack is saying. Jason sits across from us, and I find it hard to concentrate on anything else. It feels like it's like this every training session. I still find it extremely hard to interact with Jason these days, and it makes quidditch difficult. We're not bickering like we had been, but it's been more just... difficult, than anything else. Part of me wants to talk to him, because before we ever went out, Jason and I had gotten along quite well. We've always been a good team, but now...
"Jack, I can hear you," Jason tells him, throwing Jack a look, not seeming too seriously angry at Jack's comment. "And I'm always quidditch psycho," he reminds him, smiling.
Despite being angry at Jason about the whole situation, the the position it put me in, I want to talk to him. I feel like deep down it's time for us two to just get together and talk about it all. I don't feel that way about him anymore, so it's just time to bury the hatchet if anything. I decide I'm going to grab him after training, and for now I'm going to pretend that it is all fine. I don't want quidditch matches or training to be ruined for me because of issues outside of the pitch, and it's been my fault it's been mainly awkward because of being so stubborn and refusing to acknowledge him.
I stand up and slowly edge towards him. He glances up at me when I stand in front of him, feeling my stomach twist into a knot. "Can we talk after training today?" I ask.
"Um, yah sure," he replies not sounding entirely sure about this conversation.
Training continues on, and although the cold pierces my skin, I hardly focus on that. All I can think about is how I'm even going to talk about everything with Jason. I want to tell him how messed up everything made me feel. I felt used and betrayed by him. I also felt partly disgusted by everything that happened- it just felt wrong.
A few hours pass, and eventually Jason is satisfied by the training we've put in, so he allows us to finish up. I take my time getting out of my gear knowing that here would be the perfect place to speak to him due to it being just us two when everyone else leaves.
"You coming to dinner?" Jenny asks Jason, hesitating at the door when she sees that it's just the two of us remaining. I busy myself with my shoe laces, feeling the tension rising in the room.
"You go on ahead, I'll catch up," he tells her, sitting down on the bench next to me.
Jenny gets the hint, and leaves the two of us alone together in the changing rooms. I feel almost sick to my stomach- we haven't been alone since we were going out. I look to Jason, and suddenly just feel intense sadness. I really did love him, and I was happy with him. Why did it have to get all so complicated? I wonder if James and I would have kissed that night even if Jason and I hadn't broke up... I feel immensely guilty about that immediately.
"Mia, I'm so sorry for everything," he says before I get a chance to say a word. He shakes his head, looking frustrated. "I put you in a weird position. What happened with Alex was... not entirely what you think. I mean, I was thirteen. Everything was just... a laugh. Despite that, I shouldn't have even pursued you because of what happened with Alex and I. I promise you, everything I've felt for you was all true."
I take a second to process everything Jason has just said. "I think I let my hurt get the better of me that day in training when I broke up with you," I admit. "I should have talked to you first, but I was so hurt and angry. I felt like I was being used..."
Jason looks at me, as though trying to force me to see the truth in his eyes. "Mia, I swear, that was never ever the case. You can ask Jenny... or anyone, I really did have feelings for you. But I really should have left them as they were." He lets out a sigh. "In reality I think we were maybe drifting anyway." I look to him confused and he lets out a small chuckle. "I'm not an idiot, Mia. You and James spent a lot of time together. And everyone knows he's mad about you." I blush at these words.
"Look, none of this is about James," I reply, but I know Jason is not entirely far from the truth. I did spend a lot of time with James, and although I feel guilt for even thinking it, I did begin to develop feelings for James even when I was in a relationship with Jason. COMPLICATED. "Not entirely," I decide, not wanting to lie to Jason in this conversation. "I just wish... that things hadn't gotten so complicated. I really liked you, Jason."
"I know," he says quietly. "I guess we were just meant to be friends in the end.." he trails off with a little sigh, as though not wanting to say that. "If it makes it any better, I do think you and James are suited to each other, as much as I hate to admit it," Jason says with a small smile. "But no matter what, you can't loose focus, Mia. I don't care if he gives you a pot of gold- we have to win against Gryffindor this year."
I laugh at this. Of course Jason would somehow turn this conversation around to be about Quidditch. "Come on, you idiot," I say shoving him playfully. "I wouldn't let Gryffindor win if my life depended on it." I stand up, feeling better for finally sitting down to chat to Jason. "Let's go get dinner."
He places out his hand towards me. "Friends?" he asks.
I grab his hand, and pull him off of the bench, and instead pull Jason into a hug. I feel his hesitation before he wraps his arms around me. "Friends," I say softly before pulling away from him, and giving him a sincere smile, feeling better than I had in awhile. I still feel a small ache inside of me, knowing that it will still take some time to get over completely.
However, despite that, together, the two of us head back to the castle, talking absolute nonsense, but both of us feeling a lot merrier despite how gloomy it is outside. Although things will never be the same again, I'm just grateful to be friendly with Jason now. I feel as though now I can close that chapter in my life, and just try my best to move on and forget about what happened- even if it's difficult.
I join everyone at the Gryffindor table after saying goodbye to Jason, squeezing in beside Eleanor. James sits across from me, looking at me oddly.
"You and Jason looked happy," Rose says.
I realize now why James might have been looking at me oddly. I just shrug my shoulders grabbing some food on to my plate. "We chatted about things; it was nice." I notice James looking grumpily down at his food, and I kind of want to laugh at how obvious he's being. It's kind of cute that he appears to be jealous about it- I never thought James would ever be jealous of me and another person ever. "I mean, if we want to beat you lot this year we need to be a team again. You can't be a good team and not talk."
"Good luck with that," James says, deciding to stop giving the death glare to his potatoes. "Even if you two never broke up you still wouldn't make a better team than Gryffindor." I stick my tongue out at him, which he rolls his eyes at jokingly. "That's very mature, Mia."
"You're just jealous," I joke.
This, he seems to not take so lightly. "I am not jealous," he scoffs, angrily jabbing his fork into his food.
Rose starts laughing. "You two are seriously like an old married couple sometimes."
We both look to each other, and I feel like I'm blushing again.
After awhile, everyone begins to head back to the common rooms, but I stay on, wanting to see if James is okay. He seemed somewhat annoyed throughout all of the dinner, and I feel as though I need to reassure him. There's hardly anyone at all left in the hall; James looks at me when Alex and Fred finally leave us alone.
"What's wrong," I ask him immediately.
"Are you and Jason working things out?" he blurts out.
I laugh, surprised by his bluntness. I shake my head and I notice his shoulders slump. "Merlin no," I say, and with this I see James look slightly relieved. "I could never get back with Jason no matter what. It's all too complicated- plus, even... even when I was with Jason I began to have feelings for someone else..." I feel bold saying this, but I want to tell him the truth. I look down feeling a little embarrassed, plus guilty for actually admitting this out loud.
"Mia," he says gently, placing his hand over mine which causes me to look up at him. My heart skips a beat, not expecting his touch. "We both agreed that this wasn't the right time for us... We just have to face that we just won't work." I pout at this response, causing James to chuckle. He stands up. "Anyway, I think we should go back to our common rooms."
I agree and follow James out of the Great Hall, the hallway lit by only the flames, which create a gentle glow on James' face. I try not to think about the fact that James is right. It just is not going to work between us right now, maybe not ever. Sometimes it's just how things work. I then think about what Rose said, about James just saying it's not the right time for him either as an excuse to not rush me into anything. I wonder if perhaps that could be true. I don't want to delude myself either.
Or maybe James just doesn't want anything serious at all. I mean, I've known James nearly my whole life at this point. He's never been truly serious about anything before. He's never had a girlfriend that I know of; the only thing James is serious about is Quidditch.
I'm so consumed by my thoughts, that I take no notice of James looking around the entrance hall to see if anyone is about. He takes my hand, much to my surprise, and pulls me into the tiny broom cupboard by the entrance.
"James, what on earth are you doing?" I ask, laughing due to feeling so surprised by his actions.
"I just really want to kiss you again," he says, barely giving me a moment to think about it before he presses his lips to mine. He softly places his hands on either side of my face, his finger tips brushing through my hair. My heart begins to race, the million worries I had moments before suddenly shifting from my brain. I close my eyes, melting into the moment, placing my hands on to his shoulders. My chest feels like it's going to explode because of how giddy I feel. It's really unfair that James is quite literally perfect in every shape and form; Merlin, even snogging James is perfect.
I pull away from James, and look at him in the dimness of the room. His face is slightly pink, and I'm glad to know he's as easily flustered as I am, even if he acts otherwise.
"I guess you're the one who wanted to kiss again," I tease, biting my lip, trying to hide how nervous I feel.
"Shut up, idiot," he says, quickly kissing me again. He lowers his hands from my face, and looks to me frowning. "Maybe we could just... I don't know... keep things kind of casual and private?" he suggests. "At least for now."
"How long do you reckon that would last?" I ask him. "Nothing ever stays a secret for long here."
"I'm great at hiding things," he reminds me, ruffling my hair. "Fooled you for awhile."
"You're a twat," I joke, shoving his hand away from my hair, and opening the door to peak out. "Maybe it is best to just keep things casual..." I bite my lip. This is so unlike me; never before would I have been okay with keeping things casual with someone, but with James it's different. It's as though I'm happy no matter what we're doing, if we're serious or not. The worries I had only five minutes ago seem strange to me, because right now it doesn't matter. We're both happy to just be with each other even if we're not going out. I try to hide a small smile that begins to threaten. Everything is just exciting now. "I'm going to bed, because I need sleep for classs tomorrow. And we need to organise tutoring again," I remember. I turn around to him, and on my tip-toes, I give him a quick kiss before exiting the little cupboard. "Goodnight, James."
I can totally be casual.